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Hillsborough County Commissioners approve repaving project on Bay to Bay Blvd

Posted at 4:35 PM, Feb 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-20 17:48:45-05

SOUTH TAMPA, Fla. — It seems many people agree that Bay to Bay boulevard is dangerous. In the last year, the road has seen at least 17 crashes.

"I just don’t want such a threat being at the center of our neighborhood,” said Tim Scheu. He’s a father of two and both his kids have to cross the road for school.

RELATED: South Tampa neighbors ask Commissioners to hold off on Bay to Bay Boulevard repaving project

"I would not call any road safe in Hillsborough County,” said Marlin Anderson.

They say repaving would help and Hillsborough County Commissioners approved that Tuesday but they’re struggling to agree on how many lanes it should be.

"We have approximately 20,000 people a day using Bay to Bay Boulevard and we cannot afford to choke it off by taking lanes away,” said Anderson. He wants to keep all four lanes.

Tim Scheu was hoping they would delay repaving the road, to revisit a complete streets plan drafted up by city engineers last year.

He showed ABC Action News and County Commissioners video he took during his morning commute. He says the four lane road encourages speed and bad behavior behind the wheel. That, coupled with inconsistent traffic patterns give pedestrians and bicyclist a false sense of safety, according to Scheu.

"It almost invites people to jaywalk it, it invites people to not use crosswalks because it creates a perception it safe but that's not the behavior we want,” he said.

Mayor Bob Buckhorn rejected the plan that would have turned it into a two-lane road, with a designated middle turn lane. It also called for bike lanes and traffic-calming measures.

Scheu says people mistook it as a “bike lane” project.

"it’s maddening, because it’s a safety project. It’s safer for drivers, it’s safer for pedestrians and the bike stuff just happens to be an added benefit,” he said.

Contractors could be out on site as early as next week, and the repaving would start after that. The county is also asking the new mayor of Tampa to add new improvements to the road as well.